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Tipsheet

The One Thing Not Being Addressed With the Latest Trump Tapes on Classified Materials

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Let’s get this out of the way again: Donald Trump isn’t the first to allegedly mishandle classified information. The list of those culpable of similar offenses stretches back to the Kennedy administration. That was the liberal media pivot after the Mar-a-Lago raid in August of 2022 when Joe Biden was caught leaving state secrets at multiple locations. Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser, Sandy Berger, illegally removed classified documents from the National Archives by stuffing four papers into his socks and pants. He later lied to federal investigators about the matter. Bill Clinton lost the nuclear codes. And you could teach a college course about what Hillary Clinton did in this area. 

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The problem is that Trump also did himself no favors on this issue. The indictment against him is politically motivated, but its contents reveal multiple instances that landed him in hot water that were entirely avoidable. We cannot hit Biden for being senile and a national security risk when Trump was allegedly reckless concerning a map of a classified military operation near an individual who did not have the proper clearance. Yet, he’s indicted. There will be a trial next year, and that’s what the Democrats wanted: to keep this legal circus around his neck and give the GOP fits regarding general election strategy. It’s going to be a nightmare, and the latest recordings have poured more fuel on the fire (via NYT):


An audio recording of former President Donald J. Trump in 2021 discussing what he called a “highly confidential” document about Iran that he acknowledged he could not declassify because he was out of office appears to contradict his recent assertion that the material he was referring to was simply news clippings. 

Portions of a transcript of the two-minute recording of Mr. Trump were cited by federal prosecutors in the indictment of Mr. Trump on charges that he had put national security secrets at risk by mishandling classified documents after leaving office and then obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them. 

The recording captured his conversation in July 2021 with a publisher and writer working on a memoir by Mr. Trump’s final chief of staff, Mark Meadows. In it, Mr. Trump discussed what he described as a “secret” plan regarding Iran drawn up by Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Defense Department. Mr. Trump was citing the document in rebutting an account that General Milley feared having to keep him from manufacturing a crisis with Iran in the period after Mr. Trump lost his re-election bid in late 2020. 

[…] 

“Isn’t it amazing?” Trump says as he shuffles through what he calls “a big pile of papers,” which he can be heard handling on the recording. 

“This thing just came up,” Mr. Trump says, adding: “This was him. This was the Defense Department and him.” 

“Wow,” a woman in the room can be heard saying, followed by a rustling of papers. 

“Let’s see here,” Mr. Trump says, adding, “Look.” There is a brief pause, during which he appears to show people in the room something, and they start to laugh. 

“This totally wins my case, you know,” he says, adding that the papers were “highly confidential, secret. This is secret information.” 

“Isn’t that incredible?” Mr. Trump says later, adding, “This was done by the military and given to me.” 

Then he appears to lean into a suggestion for the book writers. “I think we can probably, right?” Mr. Trump says. A woman responds, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see, you know, we’ll have to try to figure out a —” 

“Declassify it,” Mr. Trump says. “See, as president I could have declassified it, but now I can’t.” 

“Now we have a problem,” the woman says, laughing. 

“It’s so cool,” Mr. Trump says, eventually calling out for someone to bring in Coca-Cola to drink. 

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Comment among yourselves below, but you could see how a virulently anti-Trump Department of Justice was able to draft an indictment, right? The Stormy Daniels hush money charges from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is nonsensical legalese stretched to the limits of reality. Trump seemingly makes it easy for his enemies to drop this second indictment on his doorstep. What’s troubling is who leaked it. CNN obtained the audio first, so one would logically conclude that someone from the Justice Department let it slip, and many have made that observation. This pipeline is one that was often used during the Russian collusion circus. Some are saying it's Special Counsel Jack Smith:

That's a debate amongst yourselves. 

The anti-Trump DOJ has resorted to leaking sensitive and privileged information to fight the mishandling of classified materials. To combat evil, we must do evil—that’s the standard now. With half the country already viewing the Justice Department and the FBI as political agents who work overtime to protect Biden and jail Trump, did the leaker think this would sway public opinion in favor of the DOJ?

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Any leaks about this case will only serve to bolster Trump’s poll numbers, as millions have already made up their minds about the credibility and integrity of the Justice Department. Perhaps, that’s their aim by ginning up the GOP base to nominate Trump and potentially ruin the GOP’s chances in 2024. That’s possible, but it could also protect Biden, whose corruption allegations and that of his son, Hunter, are becoming an interest to those outside conservative media. It’s got to the point where Karine Grey Poupon decided to hide in the bunker today for the White House press briefing.

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